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A heliostat throws sunlight where it might be needed, whether for photography or scientific observations. This example resembles the Foucault heliostat made by the Société Genevoise. A tag on the base reads: “PRESENTED TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY BY ERNEST KEMPTON ADAMS.” Ernest Kempton Adams was a graduate of Columbia University. Following his untimely death in 1904, his large collection of scientific and engineering instruments was given to Columbia, and his father provided $50,000 to support physical research.
Ref: Société Genevoise, Illustrated Price List of Physical and Mechanical Instruments (Geneva, 1900), pp. 85-86.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1900
overall: 21 in x 23 in x 20 in; 53.34 cm x 58.42 cm x 50.8 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Columbia University
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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